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US Supreme Court takes up politically charged electoral map disputes

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Accusations that state legislators drew electoral maps for partisan advantage in violation of the U.S. Constitution will once again come before the U.S. Supreme Court, which agreed on Friday to decide cases from North Carolina and Maryland that could have enduring political consequences nationwide.

The high court has struggled to resolve the legality of the practice called partisan gerrymandering in which boundaries of legislative districts are delineated with the aim of tightening one party’s grip on power.

The justices in June 2018 failed to issue definitive rulings in cases from Wisconsin and Maryland that election reformers had hoped would prompt the high court to impose limits on partisan gerrymandering.

The court will hear oral arguments in both cases in March, with rulings due by the end of June.

In the North Carolina case being taken up by the justices, Democratic voters accused North Carolina’s Republican-led legislature of drawing U.S. House of Representatives districts in a way that disadvantaged Democratic candidates in violation of the constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law. A lower court sided with the Democratic voters.

In the Maryland case, Republican voters accused Democratic legislators of violating their constitutional free speech rights by redrawing boundaries of one particular U.S. House district to hinder Republican chances of winning. The Supreme Court in June sidestepped a ruling on the merits of the case and a three-judge panel threw out the district in November.

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Reporting by Lawrence Hurley and Andrew Chung; Editing by Will Dunham

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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Ben Stein: Black people have a ‘very deep attachment’ to feeling like ‘they’ve been victimized’

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On Monday's edition of Fox Business' "Trish Regan Primetime," conservative writer and actor Ben Stein complained about how African-Americans refuse to be grateful for what President Donald Trump is doing for them because they have an "attachment" to feeling like "they've been victimized."

"Let me ask you, though, Ben, in this environment, we're now looking at the lowest unemployment rate for black Americans in the history of the United States of America under none other than President Trump," said Regan. "Is any of that loyalty starting to shift? I mean, are traditional black Democrats saying, hey, maybe the Democratic Party has failed me? Maybe I need to rethink this?"

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He’ll ‘rot in prison’: At least one House Dem has bigger plans for Trump than impeachment

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An increasing number of Democrats have come out in favor of beginning an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump's actions in recent days. But Rep. Fre?derica Wilson of Florida bucked that trend on Monday by coming out specifically against impeachment, warning it would have negative consequences.

However, she made clear she wasn't opposed to impeachment because she's a fan of Trump or thinks his conduct isn't condemnable. In a tweet featuring an antagonizing and absurd meme, Wilson explained that she feared Trump would benefit from an impeachment push:

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Jared Diamond believes America is ruining itself in 4 different ways

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Jared Diamond is not afraid of big ideas. He has tackled such subjects as evolutionary psychology, the reasons why the West rose to global dominance, the lessons to be learned from "traditional societies" and the relationship between environmental change and the decline of ancient civilizations. and why ancient societies fell into decline.

Diamond has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the National Academy of Sciences. He has been awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship as well as the National Medal of Science. His bestselling book "Guns, Germs and Steel" won the Pulitzer Prize.

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Trump endorses killing journalists, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Online ad networks are now targeting sites that cover acts of violence against dissidents, LGBTQ people and people of color.

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